Your 808 plugin chain + tips for getting a perfect 808...

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by flguy, May 27, 2019.

  1. flguy

    flguy Ultrasonic

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    One area that seems to get us beginners is getting a hard hitting, clear, even sounding 808.
    I see many people saying never to compress an 808, while others swear by it.
    I know there aren't many "rules" so to speak but I'd like to hear your plugin chain when you mix your 808's.

    I tend to add an Rbass or two, eq areas that clash with the kick, add a limiter to keep it even, and of course some distortion at the end.

    It seems like the lowest notes in the 808 are always a lot lower in volume and keeping a perfectly even sounding 808 is an issue for me.
    I used to use waves bass rider, but I found using a limiter does the job a lot better for that even sound.

    I also noticed that making a copy, low passing about 180 hz and below, then doing some ducking and adding saturation brings out those higher frequency, making it easier to hear especially on smaller speakers.

    If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to hear what you guys do to get your 808's sounding like the pros, and if you don't mind going into detail to help out a beginner I'd very much appreciate it.

    I'm especially curious of some compression settings I can use as a starting point since tonal balance control usually shows my 808 as being too dynamic.
     
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  3. swavenation

    swavenation Kapellmeister

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    First i would use a sidechain compressor everytime im blending kicks and 808s, you can use a multiband compressor for better results. Im not always trying to achieve an 808 thats hard hitting it really depends on the song, it just needs to sound present. Kicks can help give the effect of a hard hitting 808 but you really need to learn how to blend with sidechaining for best results. Not every kick and 808 will blend the same way in my experience. I dont usually put a compressor on my 808 chain, its like you said the high notes will sound higher so all you need to do is lower the notes velocity. I add a multiband compressor on my master chain. Saturation always. Instead of copying your 808, maybe just boost the gain and boost whatever range you want with an EQ? This method you described i would typically do if i was doubling 2 different 808s and cutting out frequencies to blend them together, which is common among producers.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  4. demberto

    demberto Producer

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    Doesn't matter
    to make an 808 sound hard and remove the need of a kick, just automate the pitch of the 808 at the start of it. thank metro boomin for this trick
     
  5. TeddiTalks

    TeddiTalks Ultrasonic

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    For me personally, I try to not do too much and I NEVER use sidechain compression.
    Compression, EQ, Saturation mostly.
     
  6. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

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    FM->EQ->MB distortion (also works as parallel)->EQ->chorus/slight reverb.
    Layering with short kick. Adjust attack on FM to make room for short kick.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  7. flguy

    flguy Ultrasonic

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    What are your go to compressors for an 808, and could you give me some starting point settings?
     
  8. flguy

    flguy Ultrasonic

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    I've heard of people using verb on the 808, I should try that out. I've also heard people stereo widening 808's but that gets kind of sketchy when trying to control low end.
     
  9. TeddiTalks

    TeddiTalks Ultrasonic

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    Sure! :)

    I've been using the TLA-100A by Softube and VC-2A by Native Instruments on 808's usually compressing around 2-3 db.
    Typically slow attack, fast release.
    Also, I've used RVox/RComp/RBass/L1 plenty of times just because it's simple and it works, but again not too much!

    Most 808's I use and work with don't need much or any compression because the samples are already compressed.
     
  10. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

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    I only apply chorus and reverb to the upper harmonics (EQ/filtering before reverb).

    I've found compressors are not really needed when I use parallel multiband distortion and filters. Distortion in itself is a compressor.
    Also, since "808s" are basically sines or slight variations of sines, they are quite undynamic. So using compressors is doing more harm than good IMO.

    I rather use a compressor on the sine+kick subgroup to make them gel together.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
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  11. flguy

    flguy Ultrasonic

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    In my 808 patterns I've had issues of the first notes (which are usually the lowest in the sequence) playing at the same volume as the notes higher up on the scale. Sometimes it's pretty drastic to where the lowest notes are hard to even hear. So I figured a compressor might bring them up to the level of the other notes. I know its not just because of the note because the meter shows a big jump as the notes get higher. Bass rider seems to fix this for the most part. I guess I should just use that instead of messing with compression?

    Would you recommend adding the 808 to the entire drum bus and compressing it all together, or just the kick and 808 together?
     
  12. Misterguywick

    Misterguywick Producer

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    I use a vu meter and play with the velocity till each hit is the same value
     
  13. Misterguywick

    Misterguywick Producer

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    what you wanna do is that velocity/ vu thing, then get Rbass, set the frequency to 54hz, boost (I did 8.4), put the gain down about -6db.
    the best distortion plug in for 808s is chandler limited GAV19 (so many tones), you just have to flip one of the switches off to turn some swooshy sound off. i'm using cubase 5 so I'm not sure how you'd do it fl but you do an aux send but make sure it's set to pre fader. you can lightly compress if you like, you don't need to. here's an 808 loop using this chain. the 808 I used is BD0075

    but yes put the 808 in your drum buss (I didn't in the loop). while i was adding all the plugs i watched the vu meter making sure it didn't go red
     

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  14. Pollice verso

    Pollice verso Platinum Record

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    Matthew Weiss is your man
     
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  15. flguy

    flguy Ultrasonic

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    Thanks for the knowledge, my go to distortion is Decapitator, but I will look into the Chandler.
     
  16. flguy

    flguy Ultrasonic

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    Real talk I found that video a few weeks ago and have been using that technique ever since!
     
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  17. DhaDhaPequeno

    DhaDhaPequeno Noisemaker

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    i believe I get, can you re word it though?
     
  18. There's no such thing as a perfect 808. That's because the original was a dog and most emulations follow the original. Almost all proponents of a perfect 808 use a sampled click and thump layered over a synthesised sine tail. That's the only way to get perfection.
     
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  19. Clayton123

    Clayton123 Member

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    I had a hard time with 808s for a long time. The 808 is such a simple concept, just a distorted sine wave, but because there's so little moving parts, so to speak, every one has to be perfect.

    A lot of it comes down to the right sample. I've found a lot of great packs on reddit. Yungmoon, 808 mafia, Sizzle's Stolen Laptop, Dollow, Dollie, DDA Trapstep are some of my favorite 808 kits. If I get the right sample all I really need to do is some MaxxBass, light saturation, maybe eq, RBass. Often not even all that.

    If I'm going to synthesize an 808, which is great because of the added control, I like to drag an 808 sample into serum, find whichever waveform I like the best, pull up the 3rd or 4th harmonic with serum's additive section, add a pitch detune to give that out of tune 808 sound, (usually 1 semitone with a decay of 1-2 secs) I like to add a saw wave on osc 2, unison to 2,3,4, turn the detune down low. Send only osc 2 to the filter and turn the cutoff down to where it blends with osc 1. Usually pull the volume down on osc 2. This gives some extra bass and some stereo information, which can be cool. I'll then run that through some variation of effects, the serum distortion (usually tube), Hyper with a high detune and low rate, Dimension on low, phaser with the rate on 0 (turn the other knobs to taste), flanger with the rate on 0, and the serum mulitband compression and I'll pull the mid band way up. Then a lot of times I'll eq after serum. Pull off some stray high end, boost 700-1.2k or so, maybe pull out around 300. That usually gives me a pretty good 808. After that I may add effects based on the song, bitcrushing, chorus, digital clipping, etc.

    And I also have the "kick" part of the 808 a whole separate thing, part of the drum kit. This gives me the ability to make sure the kick hits hard without worrying about how it will effect the rest of the 808. And it also lets me have a separate kick and 808 pattern if I want it.

    Hope this helps!
     
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  20. NeverenoghFun

    NeverenoghFun Platinum Record

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    I reach for the Speaker Buster 808 Kontakt library.
    Use their creator to make the initial 808 then usually some Blackbox HG compression etc. etc tricks hush hush secrets secrets

    But speakerbuster for what ever reason even the blank stock 808 just sound wide in tune and amazing.

    I actually tried to make a 808 in massive X today lol
    was a terrible time. Couldn't get the attack to click. ahaha rookie
     
  21. genophyte

    genophyte Kapellmeister

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    lol whenever i see you post info i get sad cause it usually ends up with me sitting at my daw for like an hour and giving up , then months later it suddenly clicks out of nowhere and has nothing to do with what im working on.

    but seriously thanks man
     
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